Smoking kiln is effective in drying the catfish to safe moisture content which makes it suitable for export, even, with the use of smoking kiln, nutritional quality, taste, aroma and colour are greatly improved.
The shelf life of smoked catfish is longer but the extent largely depends on processing, drying and packaging.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the numbers – how much you’ve spent, how many kilograms you realised and how much the market is willing to pay for. That’s when you realise that Agric. is a business, the point where the books don’t balance for some and they run away saying ‘agric doesn’t pay’. So it helps to start with the mindset of cost control and funds optimization. Allow the first cycle to be a trial session, preferably hands on. That experience alone will open your eyes to a lot and prevent rip-offs later on. Another challenge at the end of the cycle is during harvest try getting buyers about two weeks before the actual harvest. Having multiple buyers will mitigate disappointment and aid competition. You may also have to see how you can get paid fully in cash, although what really happens is part payment and balance is made afterwards
Again, what most people haven’t really looked at is the export. Now that’s where the money really is. Another lucrative and often over looked part is hatching. Total hatching cost per 1,000 is less than 10 NGN Naira. Yet in 8 weeks, profit is over 400%! This figure may vary, but not by much. If at all, the variation is northwards. Finally, the greatest challenge and the most cost is feeding (over 70% of total expenditure). There’s a great opportunity in ‘financing feeding’ for catfish farmers. Financiers can either be paid in cash or they take the equivalent in kilogram which can then be processed and sold advised Segun Akande, Catfish Farmer
Management culture and what we feed our fishes should be major concern. Concrete ponds are a bit expensive to construct because of high material consumption rate (Cement, 9 inches bricks, etc). A concrete pond requires expertise to avoid collapse. Getting the right seeds (fingerlings) matters a lot, we were lucky to get good once with very low death rate and fast growing. We change water once every 3-4 days. Feed them with Coppens, Durante Multi feeds (alternatively). We have also been blessed with dead chickens from a nearby poultry we cook and serve to both pigs and fishes. The fishes consume a whole chicken within 20 minutes. So far it’s been interesting, I think I love catfish farming, seeing them grow is joyful – Bolaji Adebola
Fingerlings + Good feeds = Good Table sized fish.
In conclusion, for a successful fish farming, it is important to consider, material & equipment quality, pond type, fingerlings quality, water availability & quality, feed type, management practice and target market.
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